Strong, Stoops share thoughts on paying players

Talk about whether or not programs should be compensating their football players has become louder and louder in the past few months. Both Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops were asked about that this week.

Strong said he believes it eventually will happen. “With the money being made with TV contracts, we’ve got to find a way where we can pay players,” he said. “I think it’s going to happen because if enough coaches take a stance about it, it will work its way out.”

He also added that coaches are overpaid and players should make some compensation for their hard work. “We’re making a lot of money and the players aren’t making anything, so I’d like to see that happen for them.”

Stoops called it a complex issue.

“I realize it’s very complicated. It’s not as easy as just to say, ‘Yeah, I’d like to pay the players,’” Stoops said on Wednesday night after practice. “I mean, of course I’d like to give the players more, but I also realize that’s a very complicated issue. You’re getting into a lot of things that I don’t have the answers for.

“So would I be in favor of giving the players a little bit more money? Sure. But I would have no idea about how to go about doing that, and I don’t think a lot of people do.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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4 Responses to Strong, Stoops share thoughts on paying players

  1. Roy Lawrence says:

    Excellent article. Tough subject. Well handled by coaches and writer.

  2. Tbartley says:

    I am all in favor of the players getting something. But, it is complicated. If the Universities pay them, are they then employees of the University? Workers comp if they get injured? Disability pay? A lot of issues here.

  3. DTurner says:

    Complicated issue. We all understand amateurism. It has to be set, no doubt there. IMO, it would be a good thing. My school, Bama, recently had a problem with kids robbing other kids. Root cause…….MONEY. No excuses, what they did was wrong. Would they or a lot of kids in their place have done it for fun ? Probably not. Look at it this way. You would more kids finishing school, less Jrs. going to NFL early,more grads….better for both sides. Less stupid crimes, better behavior of ALL kids. Schools go after H.S.’s best. They worked hard to get their scholarships. With money the Schools & the NCAA are making, a nice allowance is in order & only fair. I can only see good from paying kids, unless they’re caught using it for illegal purposes. Things they get in trouble for now. Then they deserve to lose it & forfeit the chance they had.

  4. Doug Thatcher says:

    Two major issues, at least. First, if the upward spiral of semi-professionalism continues to be fed at this amateur level, then yes, a “pocket-money” allowance would be appropriate.
    Second, no mention was made that they ARE being compensated with a free-ride education. The ‘football mills’ do give lip-service to this reality, but they are primarily interested in the monstrous machinery they, and our culture, have created.